Leonardo da Vinci personified the Renaissance, the extraordinary age in which he lived. Best known as one of the world’s greatest painters, he sketched the foundations for inventions that would not come to fruition for centuries.
Born a bastard in a hillside village in northern Italy, Leonardo became the protégé of princes, popes, and kings. He mastered so many branches of science that scholars still debate whether he was greater as an anatomist, botanist, cartographer, engineer, geographer, or naturalist.
Nevertheless, he died unhappy, believing he had failed to work the miracles of which he had dreamed. Here is his extraordinary story.